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China's State Press Calls For 'Building a De-Americanized World' 634

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Businessweek reports on some not-so-subtle commentary from China's official Xinhua News Agency on the U.S. budget showdown: 'It is perhaps a good time for the befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanized world.' Key among its proposals: the creation of a new international reserve currency to replace the present reliance on U.S. dollars. 'The cyclical stagnation in Washington for a viable bipartisan solution over a federal budget and an approval for raising the debt ceiling has again left many nations' tremendous dollar assets in jeopardy and the international community highly agonized,' the authors write. 'The world is still crawling its way out of an economic disaster thanks to the voracious Wall Street elites.' The commentary calls for a greater role for developing-market economies in both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, adding 'the authority of the United Nations in handling global hot-spot issues has to be recognized. That means no one has the right to wage any form of military action against others without a UN mandate.' The commentary concludes that 'the purpose of promoting these changes is not to completely toss the United States aside, which is also impossible. Rather, it is to encourage Washington to play a much more constructive role in addressing global affairs.'" Meanwhile, U.S. Senate Leaders are claiming a deal is close to reopen the federal government until mid-January and defer the debt ceiling debate until mid-February.
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China's State Press Calls For 'Building a De-Americanized World'

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  • by Freshly Exhumed ( 105597 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @03:09AM (#45129671) Homepage

    It isn't you, its me. I'm leaving you for India, as she is so much more able to fulfil my needs. I truly hope that you will find someone new. Let's be friends. - Uncle Sam.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @03:18AM (#45129697)

      Sorry, but reality called, and Uncle Sam, I found out that China is the bitch, which you fed until she weighed 300lbs, that's now pegging your skinny ass with a 16 inch strapon you had it make.

      I heard that India is taking your calls (at a call center no less) but it keeps talking until you tire out and can't manufacture shit.

    • by Dr Max ( 1696200 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @03:43AM (#45129791)
      "Yeah that's cool sweetheart" says china "you two look good together, but first can you give those trillions of dollars i loaned you back."
      • India says she will help me pay you back, and that I won't even notice any difference. She needs me, and I need her. - Uncle Sam.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Dr Max ( 1696200 )
          America sounds like the women in this to me. As she has bought far too much on credit, and think she can hook up with a guy and get them to help pay the bills, all the while getting him to build stuff for her. ;) Sorry ladies.
      • The day when China tries to push up the maturation of its US investments will see US companies running for the border. I can't imagine that sort of nonsense would keep them there. Also, I don't think China is that stupid. Going to war wouldn't get them paid, that is for sure.

        Also, if US companies move manufacturing to India, why would that affect the payment schedule? And, why would it affect China's need to park their giant pile of liquid assets somewhere? They might slow down their bond purchases, of cour

        • by Dr Max ( 1696200 )
          I thought the idea was America was taking all it's manufacturing to india and now the balls in china's court. Which i then thought stood to reason is if china isn't getting some good contracts from America (they can't really be that good because they build it for peanuts, at least it provides jobs i guess, however that's another story) they would be a lot less likely to look favorably on the giant debt America owes them. Hell they may even need that money for a national project to replace the lost work.
          • by gtall ( 79522 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @05:50AM (#45130289)

            The U.S. government couldn't reasonably ask U.S. business to leave China. First, they don't give a rat's ass whether its China or India, and second, U.S. companies don't give a rat's ass about what country the U.S. government thinks deserves their investment. And if the U.S. government tried to do such a thing, they could expect to spend the next 5 years in court litigating the proposal.

        • Re:I'm Sorry, China (Score:4, Informative)

          by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @07:07AM (#45130521) Homepage Journal

          You're completely right, of course.

          Besides which, while China owns a fair amount of US debt, it's not the majoritan amount debt critics pretend it is. Moreover, it's traded internationally in the form of fungible bonds - China deciding to get rid of it wouldn't involve them forcing the US to come up with the money, they'd sell it on the open market. And this would merely push down the price, which wouldn't be great, that'd increase interest rates on issues of future debt, but it's not the end of the world.

        • by TWiTfan ( 2887093 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @08:25AM (#45130843)

          China has no intention of fighting a *military* war. They're just sitting back and letting the U.S. bankrupt itself on a ridiculously over-sized military that it doesn't need, thus winning the *economic* war without firing a shot.

          • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @09:25AM (#45131333) Homepage Journal
            Kinda like what we did with Russia? If our schools were better we might learn from history. Heh heh heh
            • Pretty sure everyone involved in making decisions DID learn well from history. We're not spending as much as we are on the military because it's a good long term strategy. We're spending that much on the military because lobbyists and politicians are getting rich off of the taxpayers through that scheme, and the taxpayer hasn't realized we don't need stealth fighters to keep safe from a bunch of cultists with boxcutters and AK47s.
          • by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @09:41AM (#45131471)

            China is doing a great job of accumulating it's own massive debt. At some point it will probably turn into a race to see who gets there first although I'd give China the edge because I think their economy is not sustainable. For at least a decade some have suggested that China has been exaggerating it's economic growth and from what I know I tend to believe it. Sure things are great, for a very small subset of the population. Meanwhile the majority is exploited in the name of economic success.

            Not that China doesn't think ahead. They're currently Africa's largest trading partner. And while America blindly throws far more money at Africa than China does, China is building infrastructure. So the average African is exposed directly to the benefits of a relationship with China while the US, ironically gets little recognition despite the fact that in all other ways they do more. Of course, while China does all that, they're stripping Africa of every resource they can get their hands on.

            The US is in the difficult position that they're the world's military. Everyone bitches about a supposedly imperialistic America, but every time something goes wrong somewhere they expect Americans to show up guns blazing. And the European defense industry is only happy to have America as their biggest customer.

            Meanwhile, China has been working hard to build their own military might. So while they're currently playing aloof they clearly have other ambitions. Or at least they're hedging their bets. But if I had to guess I'd say their end goal to replace the United States. However, while China has more to gain economically, I'm convinced if their economy took a dump they'd turn to a militaristic approach. There's nothing like a foreign enemy and a cause to distract the people from domestic problems. And their are perfect regional targets that I'm not convinced the US will stand up to defend.

          • China has no intention of fighting a *military* war. They're just sitting back and letting the U.S. bankrupt itself on a ridiculously over-sized military that it doesn't need, thus winning the *economic* war without firing a shot.

            So what you are saying is that China learned well form the Cold War and how the USSR fell?

    • Re:I'm Sorry, China (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dinfinity ( 2300094 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @04:34AM (#45130017)

      The idea of a love analogy is good, but in reality it is the rest of the Western world that has opened its eyes to the abusive relationship with the USA it is in.

      The once present blind love for everything 'USA' (a lot of clothes sporting American text or imagery were made and worn in the rest of the world) has turned into a palpable disdain for the same. The more apt analogy for the current feelings would be: 'How can we get out of this relationship without that asshole going psycho on us?'

      I wish it were different.

    • Re:I'm Sorry, China (Score:5, Informative)

      by Xest ( 935314 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @07:59AM (#45130685)

      India just isn't as successful as China. It tried too hard to skip the whole industrial revolution thing and went straight for services and then cocked it up.

      China had it right, go through it's own industrial revolution and become a manufacturing powerhouse, and as you grow that then try and focus more towards services which is what it's attempting now/next.

      India just ended up making a complete hash up of services with so many companies now realising what an awful mistake outsourcing software development, call centres, finance and HR and so forth to there actually was.

      That's why whilst China has flown into the spot of second largest economy, India is still stuck barely hanging on to it's top 10 spot with Russia and Canada biting at it's heels, all this despite the fact that India has just as much access to natural resources as China, is similarly situated globally, had better relationships with important export destinations, and and has a similar population size at 1.2 billion.

      There was a time when people were looking at India as the next big thing alongside, or possibly even ahead of China. Now the world has turned it's attention more to the likes of Brazil alongside China.

      India and China aren't that interchangeable, America couldn't just drop China tomorrow and replace it with India, as India has lost many years in failing to optimise itself to the demands of the global economy in the way China did.

      See here for an illustration of the problem: []

      The fact is that China is just more successful than India. China got it right. If America switches it's focus to India, it wont be China that loses out because India has neither the manufacturing capacity nor infrastructure to support it to meet US demand that China has built up precisely because of India's premature misadventure into services (even in Finance where for a while India was pipped to be a top 3 financial centre it's fallen far for example: []). That means the US will be unable to acquire the products it demands whilst everyone else gladly takes them off China's hands.

  • by muecksteiner ( 102093 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @03:15AM (#45129689)

    The Slashdot summary already nicely shows why the Chinese do have a point of sorts:

    "a deal is close to reopen the federal government until mid-January and defer the debt ceiling debate until mid-February."

    In other words, the only thing they seem to be able to come up with is a deal to kick the can down the road for four months - and in the meantime, in all probability do exactly nothing about the underlying fundamental problems which have caused this mess in the first place.

    You know, these pesky little details, like the U.S. habitually spending way more than it actually takes in tax earnings. As in: WAY more. A bit more could be argued to work in some lets-fudge-the-books-and-rely-on-inflation-to-make-it-work way, but the U.S. is light years from that sort of sustainable level. And no one wants to admit it.

    The bit where the Chinese are IMHO wrong is that it will need any sort of centralised planning to achieve this replacement of the U.S. as hub of the global economy. That will just happen, inevitably. The fundamentals are gone, no way the U.S. can stay where it is. What will come afterwards is very uncertain - but things can stay the way they are.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @03:30AM (#45129741)

      Thank George W Bush junior for destroying the trust in the US around the world. Thank the Tea Party for making it look like the US is having a civil war of words over obamacare reminiscent of the slavery abolition talks during the actual civil war. At the end of the day Obamacare isn't going away, The Tea Party will be the losers, along with most of congress. The American people will win by finally having healthcare and being competitive with foreign nations who do. However the by the time it's in full force, the healthcare, welfare/disability fraud will probably have sunk the budget worse.

      The US is on the road to ruin and all the gerrymandering possible is not going to save the republican party.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @03:47AM (#45129813)

        $16.7 trillion is not a partisan issue. Toss the lot of them for not knowing the difference between deficit and debt. The deficit could be zero and we'd still be screwed. We need 50 years of surpluses.

        • by jcr ( 53032 ) < .ta. .rcj.> on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @04:09AM (#45129891) Journal

          $16.7 trillion is not a partisan issue.

          Bingo. The greatest enemy of the Ruling Party is math.


        • The deficit could be zero and we'd still be screwed. We need 50 years of surpluses.

          Not after you consider inflation. We can refi and choose our rate. ;)

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @06:06AM (#45130341)

          We need 50 years of surpluses.

          People really have short memories. In the late '90s, there was concern by economists and financial analysts that the projected budget surpluses (surpluses) would result in the public debt being paid off by 2012. Paid off, zero, gone. The concern was that it wouldn't allow enough time for the markets to adapt to the end of the US Treasury Bond as the ultimate safe harbour. People were throwing ideas around for alternatives, in a world where the US would have no debt.

          Then you guys elected GWB. Problem solved.

      • by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @05:12AM (#45130155)

        Thank George W Bush junior for destroying the trust in the US around the world

        Actually, you can blame the russians. Before the USSR imploded there was another "power" that was able to keep the USA in check - if only with the threat of nuclear annihilation (though everyone knew there was far too much money at stake for that to ever happen). After that, the USA became far more aggressive and awarded itself the role of "global policeman", which basically meant making everyone fall in line with its view of how thongs (and things) should be.

        What we're seeing now is that the policeman has far exceeded his authority and has also turned out to be power-crazed and financially impotent. It would be an easy job to simply ignore it, if it weren't for all those pesky nukes and vastly oversized (for it's own protection - verging on paranoia?) armed forces.

        The only problem will be, that when the USA does get sidelined and does a "USSR" of its own, what will happen to the munitions? Being the heart of capitalism: selling to the highest bidder is inevitable.

      • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @05:37AM (#45130241) Homepage Journal

        This is a problem that has been decades in the making. The Teapers and Bush II were the pointy end of a very, very long needle that goes all the way back to the founding of the country.

        The problem is that Americans don't trust each other, and they never have. The battle lines here aren't all that different from the ones over which we fought a civil war. It was only an act of tremendous courage and foresight that let us even be a single country in the first place; the first draft essentially left us as a collection of weak, separate countries less closely bound than the EU.

        America managed to prosper despite the fact that the country folk and the city folk seem to despise each other. They achieved it largely by ignoring each other, going on about their business and doing it very well, selecting their friends and associates. But as a world leader, we're required to work together, and our self-reliance turns into a weakness: we can't even be civil with each other.

        The world can't rely on us, not as we are now. We've had better periods, when we established programs to look after each other, while keeping each other at arm's length by doing it through the federal government. These programs are the ones most under attack: national-scale programs are expensive and cause the deepest resentment. We end up fighting about them and hating each other all the more for it.

        I don't know if any country can replace us. Our individualism has crafted the innovations that put us in this position. A de-Americanized world would advance a lot more slowly unless other countries can figure out how to do what we've done. But they may find that it comes at the same cost we pay of self-reliance becoming self-centeredness.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @07:33AM (#45130599) Homepage Journal

          Working together is un-American. The American Dream (TM) is that anyone can make it, but the assumption is for one person to get rich others must remain poor. Business owners are expected to maximize profits for themselves while keeping wages as low as possible, for example. Anything that might push wages up or interfere with someone getting rich, like unionising, is strongly discouraged.

          It's just not in the nature of American society to work together and support each other, beyond small local communities. Almost every debate comes down to "why should I pay for someone else?" or "if it doesn't directly benefit me it shouldn't be funded".

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Black Parrot ( 19622 )

        Thank George W Bush junior for destroying the trust in the US around the world.

        Thank Obama for building on that, rather than working hard to roll it back.
        Neither will have a 'legacy' that I would want.

      • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @08:12AM (#45130763) Journal

        And this, kids, is an exact example of the problem.
        Instead of pointing to the entrenched elites of BOTH parties (who are far more like each other than they are like either of the unwashed outside-the-beltway masses of either party), this AC poster blames:
        - George W Bush: certainly one of our least-competent presidents, in terms of foreign policy he worked with near-crystal clarity; I doubt he broke anyone's trust or betrayed them. This could be contrasted with Cold War presidents who worked to undermine elected governments around the world (Mossadegh, Allende, etc)...that might have a little more to do with 'destroying trust in the US'.
        - The Tea Party: contrary to the media-industry's tendentious portrayal of the Tea Party, as far as I can tell the Tea Party was formed to protest the ridiculous and ongoing government spending beyond its means. Its offense (aside from lining itself against the President, which automatically means they are painted as whatever fringe right-wing cause they can get to stick) is essentially being obstructionist - if there is nobody willing to start to be obstructionist when we cross $15 trillion in debt, then when?

        The United States has outcompeted the rest of the first world with it's ostensibly-atrocious medical system for 50+ doesn't seem like that's much of a problem in that context.

        Re Gerrymandering - you know that this practice isn't limited to the US, but has been a part of American politics since about 1790? Really, that seems to the be the "talking point" for the media the last 45 days, it's one of those points that probably sounds very objective, but what the poster is doing is really attacking the House of Representatives. It's much like a fat white racist complaining about "the decline of the neighborhood" only when a black family moves next door.
        Of course the House happens to be
        a) the most democratically-elected branch of the US government, and
        b) controlled by the Republican party this cycle.
        It's amazing how nobody in the media was talking about the problem of Gerrymandering 2007-2009...I wonder why?

        • by sandytaru ( 1158959 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @09:04AM (#45131167) Journal
          Because the media doesn't care.

          I live in a very gerrrymandered "safe" Republican district. My town is a liberal blue dot swimming in a sea of conservatives in the rural areas. Our state districts literally slice our town in half to cut our influence in elections in half. Our federal districts have us cut off cleanly from the nearest fellow blue metro area. Our voices are silence - our representative is nothing like anyone in our city. He's also batshit insane.
        • Census of 2010 (Score:5, Interesting)

          by mx+b ( 2078162 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @09:05AM (#45131181)

          It's amazing how nobody in the media was talking about the problem of Gerrymandering 2007-2009...I wonder why?

          Probably because 2010 was the last census, after which the districts were required to be re-drawn, so this is all recent history and therefore gets reported on. Because the Republicans had just swept into power after the 2010 elections, they were able to draw districts favorably for themselves. This doesn't mean Democrats wouldn't/haven't done it, just that the most recent use of gerrymandering has been just a couple years ago by Republicans.

          Ultimately, I'm wondering if we can't push for an open source algorithm for computing districts based on population centers? This way, it cannot be political, it is open source and verifyable.

    • The Slashdot summary already nicely shows why the Chinese do have a point of sorts

      Sure, they have a point "of sorts," but what sort is it? The pithy, throw away sort. Their money coming in is mostly US dollars. Switching to the Euro, they'd lose money. They certainly can't push their own currency as the reserve, not while refusing to let its value float. And some new currency, who would support it that has so much more trust than the US, both in their financial honesty and ability to run the system, and also in their ability to defend themselves and their system? There is no such sponso

    • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @05:02AM (#45130119)

      The bit where the Chinese are IMHO wrong is that it will need any sort of centralised planning to achieve this replacement of the U.S. as hub of the global economy. That will just happen, inevitably.

      Except the new hub will go to somewhere like London, Brussels or even Singapore. Delhi/Mumbai has an outside chance. Pretty much anywhere but China. Beijing simply doesn't have the trust from global businesses, of course they're all happy to take Chinese money, just not Chinese politics/philosophy. Maybe they'll go nowhere, the worlds economies are sufficiently distributed and communication is sufficiently fast that there isn't really a need to centralise it in a single location. Something happens in Bangkok, 30 seconds later Paris, Dubai, Vancouver and Adelaide know all about it.

      The US is acting a lot like England of the 1960's and 70's. A waning empire still trying to convince itself of it's importance by talking about the good old days. The really bad part is, unless you change the road you're on you've got your own version of Thacherism to come.

      • And as someone who is old enough to have witnessed some of it firsthand, I can only second this. Thatcherism is something you do not wish on anyone, not even your worst enemies.

        If it were to happen, though, it would be interesting to watch what Thatcherism without a Labour party as punching ball would look like.

  • by theNAM666 ( 179776 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @03:33AM (#45129751)

    The bottom line here is, the US owes-- as my economics professors (Reagan advisers) pointed out 25 years ago-- the one thing it can produce infinitely and with no cost: US dollars.

    What happens in a meltdown? Well, if I ran the Fed along the principles my advisers taught me-- I'd pour payments to my allies (Europe, etc.); then I'd devalue the currency-- meaning, the creditors I didn't pay, now are owed much less. That's China, primarily, which, after all, has played quite a currency game with the US, and who's debt is quite arguably overvalued due to cheating on exchange rates.

    Would China like the world to adopt the RMB as a default currency? Sure. Obvious. It's in their self-interest, at least. If everyone owes RMB, then they have to accept the global exchange rates.... they can't print or otherwise acquire USD, and pay off debts to China with the new currency.

    Guess what? In short: no one's going to trust China as the global standard, as much as they aspire to it. If you're Switzerland, you know, that in a pinch, the US is going to pay off its debts to you-- not to China-- and give you a lot of notice, that it's going to devalue the dollar, so you can take advantage of the opportunity to erase 15% or 20% of your net debt to China, as well.

    What's this called? Global political economics. China knows the game; it knows that it played the game to dump cheap labour and goods on the US, and accumulate capital debts (loans); and it knows, if the US reaches debt ceiling, it's China's debts that are going to get radically devalued to balance the sheets.

    And good that. Unless, of course, you'd prefer that the Central Party, and not the US Treasury, is the final guarantor of the money you've loaned. A risk, I doubt, many of you (and many Central Banks) wish to take.

    Or in short: the US will fulfill its obligations to allies and creditors who've played the game in good faith. To China and others who've gamed the system-- well, that's another story, and in the next days and weeks, we may very well see, what action the US can use, to re-balance the sheets.

    • by palemantle ( 1007299 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @03:56AM (#45129845)

      Or in short: the US will fulfill its obligations to allies and creditors who've played the game in good faith. To China and others who've gamed the system-- well, that's another story, and in the next days and weeks, we may very well see, what action the US can use, to re-balance the sheets.

      I'm not seeing any evidence to support that. Going by recent history, the US seems perfectly happy to trample over its allies to secure its putative interests.

    • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @03:56AM (#45129849)

      The unfortunate problem is that China owns all your dollars and doesn't know what to do with them. In fact all they can do is to float the Renminbi which would cause a collapse in the value of the dollar against it and basically crash the US economy.. and the rest of the world too. The US can't really follow your suggestion as the Chinese would kick off and do something once they saw it happening, I'm not sure what, but I could imagine nothing good overall. Probably crash the world economy in some way or another :-)

      That they're trying to create something else suggests they're fed up with the US government lurching from crisis to crisis for wholely internal political reasons. And that a new inter-bank currency would allow them to spend all those dollars a little more easily. That's the main reason they want this, I think.

      On the other hand, a first step towards a global currency is surely a small step forwards in human social evolution.

      • If they floated the renminbi US manufacturing stocks would go through the roof even while Wallyworld was liquidating. The value of the dollar would go up.

        If the world economy crashed or not, or how badly, would all depend on the amount of warning.

        There is no evidence of them trying to create something else; all there is evidence of is strongly worded newspaper editorials. We have those, too.

    • by jcr ( 53032 ) < .ta. .rcj.> on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @04:11AM (#45129899) Journal

      the US will fulfill its obligations to allies and creditors who've played the game in good faith.

      Nope, not even close. The USA will default on those debts by inflation.


    • by aralin ( 107264 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @04:45AM (#45130051)

      1) You assume that there is some unified entity called "US" that is able to act in its best interest. Clearly not the case.
      2) You assume China's won't learn about the plan and if they learn they will not act.

      In fact, very likely some Congresscritter would learn about such plan before it could even be executed, use it to criticize the president in public forum. As a response, China would immediately and quietly start to get rid of US dollars en masse, probably using some sort of derivative schema, which would hide it for some time. This would happen before US could even agree on any sort of plan. As it would become apparent in a couple months that China is dumping US dollars, it would simply dump the rest of them in bulk, causing the dollar to lose all the remaining value. Now all the US allies, those who didn't dump US dollars as well, are left holding useless currency and they lost on all the debt they were owed. They will demand US to repurchase all of the US dollars dumped on market to drive the currency back up. This is not gonna happen. US will be facing a lot of angry countries demanding some sort of reparations. All the US foreign trade will cease immediatelly. The fact that US is not self-sufficient in almost any area and the US dollar being worthless will start draining the country of all its natural resources, because that is the only thing they can use to pay for what they need by now. In another 10 years, US would be a shell of a country. At this point US will use their only remaining option and declare war on China and use their military to shore themselves up economically. But at this point US has no allies and no goodwill at the UN. The result is a war of US against the rest of the world.

      So good luck with your brilliant economic plan. Your advisers had to be some brilliant thinkers.

    • I love a late-night splash of Realpolitik!

      The only thing I disagree with is that it would be in China's interest if everybody switched to the RMB. In 15 years, maybe. Once their domestic economy is strong enough to fill those ghost cities, they'll be in a position where it would help them. Right now, they'd lose the farm; the RMB would rise until it hit market value, their manufacturing would crash, then people would start trading it for Dollars and Euros, and they'd be powerless to keep control of it.

      I don

  • They are right, but (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @03:41AM (#45129777)

    They are right, the world needs a better currency. Preferably one not regulated by nation states or corporations: maybe bitcoin or a descendant with its flaws fixed. Also certainly the `voracious Wall Street elites have their role in the current crises (plural).

    However, the real problem is all of us: run-away consumerism. The masses who took irresponsible mortgages. The `need to replace a perfectly good smartphone every two years. The throw-away society.

    The economy is based on debt, and every nation is either involved in the race to the bottom for all the planet's natural resources, or they want to get into the race.

    China is _not_ going to be the saviour though, also not Russia, India, Europe, South-America or the USA.
    It is time to face the truth: this system cannot be saved, it can only collapse.
    The quicker it goes, the better, because every day that goes by the damage caused grows bigger. There is no point in trying to hasten it (like Anonymous does sometimes), all energy should go into prepare for a rebuild.

    If there is to be a new world order, whatever shape it might take, it must be build bottom up, by the people.
    Capitalist-alike, but without the corporations.
    Socialist-like, but not with the top-down planning and represssion.
    Open sourced and based on spontaneous collaboration, but without the hippy navel gazing.

    Therefore it is essential to keep the Internet free, and running whatever else in the world may go down.

    It is the major advantage the world has to prepare for a soft landing, when the world order crashes.

    -- a PIrate Party member who wishes to stay anonymous.

    • by xQx ( 5744 )

      They are right, the world needs a better currency. Preferably one not regulated by nation states or corporations: maybe bitcoin or a descendant with its flaws fixed.

      Okay, I'll bite (because I might learn something).

      What are the flaws that need to be fixed in bitcoin, and given the world adopted democracy, Microsoft windows, and Keynesian economics despite their flaws, what makes you think bitcoin won't be accepted despite its flaws?

  • by Dorianny ( 1847922 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @03:42AM (#45129783) Journal
    China and many other nations would love to see another currency supplant the U.S dollar or at the very least have a credible alternative, but the truth is that currently there is no currency that could do that. The Chinese renminbi is not free floating, the euro is not even guaranteed to survive, Japan is too leaden with debt which puts into question the future stability of the yen, and finally the British sterling, Canadian or Australian dollars etc are simply backed by too small of a economy to be considered serious contenders.
  • by slew ( 2918 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @03:42AM (#45129787)

    The institutions that emerged (world bank, IMF, UN) were really just codified the result of WWII. The likely reason nothing has emerged to replace it is that we haven't had WWIII yet.

    It might be interesting to speculate how all this could change w/o fighting another world war, but it seems unlikely given the inertia of the current institutions.

    On the currency issue, I think most of the people that talk about a non-us-dollar reserve currency are totally unaware of the history of the Bank for International Settlement and the IMF which denominates their reserves in SDRs (special drawing rights) which is a weighted basket of currency (USD, Euro, Yen, and British Pound).

    The problem with any kind of currency reserves, is that countries need to be willing to put up significant assets to back up any denomination of wealth (or you might find them being attacked like George Soros once attacked the British Pound). The one thing about the USD that's hard to substitute is that it's really hard to attack it now as there are many greenbacks out there and many contracts are denominated in USD. Any transition to an alternate reserve is likely to be attackable which means it must be very quick or as part of a big movement (perhaps even war-like).

  • by cayce ( 189143 )

    These attempts of China to flex their metaphorical muscle is just more fuel for the US conservatives to keep justifying the idiotic defense budget and the "World Cop" ideology.

  • It's starting (Score:5, Informative)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @04:02AM (#45129869) Homepage

    China still has substantial currency controls on the renminbi. It's difficult to move renminbi to other currencies. There's a "State Administration of Foreign Exchange" which issues permits to do that. Businesses and individuals in China can buy goods with renminbi from other countries, but exchanging renminbi for dollars or euros or doing other cross-currency financial transactions is heavily controlled.

    (Lately, there's been a surge in Bitcoin transactions in China. This provides a way to get around exchange controls. This activity will probably provoke some government action if it gets big.)

    Because of those exchange controls, the renminbi has not been a major international currency. That was the deliberate policy of the People's Bank of China for years, because they didn't want their internal economy yanked around by external events. That policy changed in July 2013 []. China now has a big enough economy internally to outweigh external holders.

    Retail controls are loosening. HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank will now let you open a bank account outside China denominated in yuan. But it's not freely exchangeable yet.

    Here's a summary of "Circular Concerning the Simplification of Cross-Border RMB Procedures and Improvement of Relevant Policies" [] from the People's Bank of China. The changes are slow and cautious, but are happening.

  • These carryings on in Washington won't themselves lead to the loss of US power. What will though is if this becomes an accepted political tactic. Republicans win the white house and pass a law that the democrats don;t like - they do the same and hold the country to ransom. This could lead to a slow decline and long-term instability of the dollar
  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @04:13AM (#45129911) Journal

    The US is hardly alone in its trouble. The Netherlands just had "prinsjesdag" the day that the budget for the next year is presented. And it was immiedialty followed by a not yet ended dance to get enough approval from non-governing parties to get it through both parlements. Because the two coalition parties don't have a majority in both. No it isn't a two party system, we got LOTS and it isn't exactly a deadlock but it does result in a compromise that nobody hates and several government in succession that haven't finished their terms. This government likely won't make it either.

    The Belgians recently spend a year without a government because the sub-frenchies and the sub-dutchies hated each others guts. England is being ruled by two parties where one party is withering away because it gets the flack for supporting the other party. What people are going to vote in the next election is anybodies guess. Maybe they will punish the tories again by voting labor.... because voters never ever learn (that is how labor got in to power in the first place, only for blair to upset people so much they voted tory to punish labor).

    Germany too has seen the collpase of a coalition with one party not even making the voting treshhold. To Merkel is look for another party to rule with so that party too can lose all their voters... sounds like a good plan right?

    Southern Europe mostly votes for whatever guy promises the most and blames all the wrongs on nothern Europe for refusing to subsidize the south after decades of subsidies that were squandered.

    Canada hates its leader but refuses to elect anyone else. New Zealand is a puppet state and Australia seems to elect people the people online hate.

    The problem might be that elections are simply to simple a tool to decide with how to govern a country.

    Take for instance privacy. One privacy issue that Americans often mention is their medical history since an insurance agency might reject you if they know you have ill health. But Obamacare cures that. If an insurance agency can't reject you for your medical history, neither will they want to find out your medical history. Bam! Socialism saves privacy! How is that for a twist? Every privacy freak support Obama!

    A bit silly perhaps but this shows that issues don't stand alone yet during elections they are presented like they are and most elections boil down to a handful of issues and then everybody bitching about how party X who promised Y is not doing Y and totally screwing you over on Z as well.

    Or maybe democracy is alright and it is just needs a better class of human beings.

    But the US is not alone in being screwed up and suffering gridlock. It is just dealing with it in the most immature way possible. But hey, that is Americans for you and we love them for it. Makes for an entertaining way to end the news, first 10 minutes of how your own country is falling apart, then a 1 minute "silly yanks" bit to show that no matter how silly your own leaders, there are sillier people on this planet.

    USA, showing the world things can always get sillier!

    • by geogob ( 569250 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @05:21AM (#45130187)

      Just a quick word from a canadian living in Germany...

      The issue with Canada is not that the citizen do not vote for other parties or politicien. The issue is that, due to the electoral system, a party can get the majority of the seats with less than 40% of the popular vote. So in fact, Canadian chose to vote for someone else, and, quite ironically, because of this popular decision, the conservatives were promoted from a minortiy government to a majority government.

      In Germany, the politcal and electoral system is quite different. But your assessment that a coalition colapsed is quite far from what is going on here. Yes, one of the coalition parties was trown out. The conservatives (which is quite a relative word when compared to the canadian conservatives or, *gasp*, the american conservatives) were already quite strong after the last election and could build a coalition with one of the smaller parties, the liberals, which allowed them to achieve the majority in the Bundestag. Since the last election, the liberals had been acting like assholes and showed themself as lobyist mor than liberals. They also failed to pass their only real electoral promess of reducing taxes, which was the only reason why people voted for them in the first place. All thing considered, it shouldn't surprise anyone they got thrown out. Even the conservatives told their electorate to give their two votes (in germany, you vote for a direct mandate - someone representing your county - and a seconde vote, where you vote for a party. The liberals only got seats through this seconde popular vote) to them. Basically, the the coaliation leader campaign against their coaliation partner.

      So saying that the coaliation collapsed is a bit strange in this context. The conservatives got almost all everything back what the liberals lost and ended just under the majority. Of course, they lost this hand and now must either build a coaliation or a minortiy government (which is unusual).

      But I would say that democracy is very healthy here compared in a lot of places in the west. Of course, the economy, infrastructures and the social structure are in very good shape in Germany, what helps for stability.

  • by jsse ( 254124 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @04:47AM (#45130065) Homepage Journal
    Things are already in progress [].
  • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @05:58AM (#45130311)
    china's products that they flooded the world markets with is of such poor quality and made with such poor material and terrible workmanship that i would rather see china embargoed until they start building products better
  • by ctromley ( 1310531 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @06:10AM (#45130353)
    It's not often I agree with the party line of the Chinese government, but this sounds pretty damn reasonable and correct. Thank you, Tea Party, you've made us all so proud....
  • by Arancaytar ( 966377 ) <> on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @06:37AM (#45130419) Homepage

    Because letting the global economy get taken hostage by a bunch of illiterate yahoos who hate healthcare is fucking stupid.

    • (Addendum: Not that having China as the world's economic leader would be any better. That'd be the old Trains Running On Time argument.)

  • by Minupla ( 62455 ) <> on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @06:50AM (#45130479) Homepage Journal

    I've been saying for awhile that the smartest thing the US could do would be to get behind a world government NOW, while it still has the clout. It's been obvious for a decade now that the US's time in the spotlight is up. History tells us it couldn't go on forever. If you're thinking 'too big to fail', look at the Roman Empire. THAT was too big to fail. Or the British one.

    If the US were as smart as they like to believe, they'd see the writing on the wall now and get behind providing more authority to the world bodies which work to ensure that countries treat each other in a civilized manner, because the US is REALLY going to wish they had down the road, when we're all talking about the ______ian/ise/etc Empire.


  • by prefec2 ( 875483 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @07:23AM (#45130579)

    It is a great idea to have a "world currency" as global interchange currency. Therefore, no country would be able to just print money to buy new resources. However, this is only going to work when the average of countries join such system. However, the USA is not going to commit themselves to it, as they are primarily the profiteer of the present model, where everyone else must buy resources in a foreign currency, but the USA (not totally true, as some trade are made in Euro and Yuan).

  • by cshark ( 673578 ) on Tuesday October 15, 2013 @07:46AM (#45130639)

    You know, reading Chinese state media is always funny to me. They're always so friendly when they talk about changing the way the monetary system works, and they do the same thing on other topics.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"